February 13, 2016 - 3:13am
... lost my house keys, trailer lock key, and my main iPod to run my clicks... not a good start to the day.
I always figure I'll lose things... you will lose things on tour... but 1st show in? I don't want to blame all the stage hands but they're like vultures... really helpful vultures after the set. They want stuff to do but I can pack up my kit in 15 mins by myself... so having to explain to people what to do actually slows me down.
I'm thinking either it got lost because it has velcro on it and stuck to something... or it was still on my iPod tray... and it's in my hardware back... and if that's the case, it's definitely destroyed. Image a 80lbs bag of hammers with a tea cup thrown in... that tea cup would be my iPod. I'm assuming nobody stole it...
... anyway... way she goes... I've made peace... back to how the day went.
Dane was up early too (8am) so we went over to the lobby part of the hotel to explore a bit... find something to do and stay out of trouble. There's a mini games/casino room here... let's avoid that... and there's a restaurant area...
... we sat on the lobby couches and talked about life for an hour.
Breakfast was good... $4.95 for basic bacon and eggs.
We killed some time in the hotel room before heading out... had to stop by Long & McQuade to drop off some rentals we didn't need. I ripped apart all my luggage before we left trying to find my iPod but not dice... Matt borrowed my trailer lock key and I forgot those on the table.. or so I thought.
... ok I need to say one thing before I go on.
It is fuuhgging cold here.
I took a picture of our hotel room door this morning... there's a bit of ice build up... you could blame the draft around the door... but it's really that cold. You open the door... the cold busts in.
We've been spoiled in Toronto so far this winter... it's apparently cooled down there a lot as well... but it's like -35C here. It's instantly cold. It was cold last night coming home from dinner but today/tonight... it's instant. I heard on the news, exposed skin has 10 mins. I believe it. It's so dry too... horrible combo.
... ok... just wanted to mention that and please factor that into anything I talk about doing throughout the day. Anytime I have to go outside, it sucks.
... way too cold.
Long & McQuade was fun... I like that store a lot... always comparing every L&M we visit across the country to my "home base" store in Toronto... it's the best one!
I thought about buying some more sticks but I think I'm decently stocked for the trip. They had these 2 tiny drum kits so I moved them together to great an awesomely huge tiny drum kit. The guy working in rentals looked at me like I was a loser... then thought it was cool we were playing MTS Centre tonight... Tim dropped the venue causally in conversation.
... about that.
... when we got to the venue I was bottling up some emotions....
We played an NHL arena tonight... I got to play drums in an NHL arena tonight!
I half jokingly respond to people who poke fun at what I do for a living and/or the idea of playing in a band... since I'm not getting any younger... but I tell them life is short and if something happens tomorrow (aka "hit by a bus"), I feel like I'll have spent a lot of my life chasing goals and experiences others have given up on... if it ends tomorrow... I put in a good effort. Music has taken me across the country, ocean to ocean, and hopefully to Europe eventually... but today was another milestone. Age of Days has played a couple arenas in the past but this was the biggest... MTS Centre was pretty big!
... home of the WInnipeg Jets!
... and their AHL affiliate! The Manitoba Moose!
I'll be honest, I spent a good part of today abusing my "all access" pass poking around anywhere I saw hockey equipment... and as difficult as it was, I didn't touch anything. I never know the limits of my willpower until I saw a full stick rack... unsupervised...
I hopped a couple barriers and took some pics of the stage setup from the back of the venue. It was 2pm and they still had a lot to do... it's crazy to see how much goes into a show this big... and say what you want about Disturbed as a band... but they have an intense light show and pyro. There's work to do to set this all up.
I checked out the production schedule on the wall:
- Disturbed 4:30pm soundcheck
- Disturbed 5pm dinner
- Doors at 6:30
- Age of Days 7:30
... during lunch I thought about this... we're not going to get a soundcheck... basically line check... if that. Saint Asonia is super pro but I'm sure they still would like a basic sound check.... there's still a lot to set up stage wise though.
We tried doing as much as we could to prepare all afternoon for when we got the call but it's tough when you feel like anywhere you go, you're in the way. People are being nice to you but you still feel like you should just get out of the way... we ended up loading out beside one of the dumpsters backstage.
I joked with one of the organizers in the area if it was fine there... if it was out of the way... beside the dumpster... he laughed and patted me on the back and said it's ok there... and don't worry.
... I just mainly wanted my gear out of the trailer... it was freezing!
You know your hardware is cold when you open the bag and it instantly frosts up since it's now inside... in warmth... and forget about actually picking up anything metal... it burns your hands. So cold!
... side note... another reason, especially on tours like this... two words... rental... drums!
I've seen people drag everything in for security reasons, but really, if you park correctly, you can trust your gear is safe (we still bring in guitars though). Treat your gear like tools... with respect but also realize they aren't precious... and again, with drums... they all sound the same through a PA if someone knows what they're doing. $500 or $5,000 kit.
... this rental is $66/month... call it $2/day!
... I'm serious... if you can tune them decently... you'll be fine.
... more worried about my cymbals... the idea of hitting them and instantly breaking.
Oh... I ripped apart my bags and cases again and ended up finding my iPod in the bottom of my stick bag... felt much better after that! I like having 3... 3 is safer than 2... and 1 is just unsafe.
I think it was around 5:45pm we got yelled at to load our gear on stage. It was a very hurry up and wait day so when we saw Disturbed finish their sound check we assumed Saint Asonia was up next...
... we both are up next.
... we loaded on stage right on top of them basically.
It was kinda crazy but we tried our best to get set up and also stay out of Saint Asonia's crew's way.
"Doors in 9 (minutes)"
We were almost ready to soundcheck by that point. I was hoping we could finish our quick line check then get off stage... I feel like a bit of a loser sound checking when the crowd is coming in.
"2 minutes to doors."
... well there goes not feeling like a bit of a loser.
A steady stream of people came from all entrances to the floor. Some people really wanted to be up front... it was similar to how things feel at outdoor festivals... they've committed to not drinking, eating, smoking, or peeing the next 4 hrs.
We finished our line check at 7:10pm... on at 7:25pm.
... back to the dressing room.
"5 minutes til you're on boys"
... fist in the middle then we were off to side stage.
"... there's 5 of you, I see 4 of you... where's the other guy?"
... where the frig is Reid??? He was just here!??
I figured he ran around to stage left but I had to be sure he wasn't in the bathroom in our (awesome) dressing room.
I ran back 20ft opened the door and yelled for him... no dice... ran to the bathroom doors... yelled... no dice...
... I ran back to stage right and heard the intro music starting... oh shit... I ran up the stairs jumped on my throne, put in my in ears (monitors) and then the rest was a slow motion blur...
... there's a lot of people here... and oh there's Reid... good... everything is good.
Despite not feeling like I played my best... after the first song, hearing the crowd cheer... it hit me... I'm playing drums in an NHL arena... a legit rock show in an NHL arena... this is awesome... this is sooo fuuhging cool!
I'm mean muggin' a lot when I play but I was ear to ear grinnin' on the inside.
... everyone felt it too... we talked about it after.
There are times when you think "yeah... this might be a highlight" opposed to a milestone... but I was trying to think about what could be better... direct support instead of opener"? Yeah that's fine... I'll go with that... always need goals! And the best kinda goals are NEW goals. :-)
Saint Asonia ripped it... they're so good. "King Of Nothing" is my fav in their set. The jury is still out for my fav song in the Disturbed set... I'll decide after Lethbridge.
... speaking of Disturbed though... they had at least 30% more lights and fire tonight. It was intense... the audience loved it though. Great crowd!
My phone ran out of storage so I couldn't take more pictures... I took a video during "The Light" and that ate up the rest of the space.
... oh, Dan Donegan introduced himself today when Matt, Tim, and I were watching the set up... curious if our Evans Blue connection will come up during the trip... It was cool though... said we sounded pretty good... Matt replied with "yeah we've been away for a while... about a year now"... blanking on hor Disturbed hasn't really played live in around 5 years... classic (Matt) McLaughlin. It was funny though.
... Dan seems pretty nice... everyone seems chill so far.
Anyway... I was really hoping to get out of the venue by 12:30am since we have a 12hr (or 16hr) drive tomorrow to Lethbridge. It's a day off so it's not super bad, but still better to get to the hotel as early as possible. Getting in at 4am sucks.
... our dressing room turned into a bit of a party and... well... now it's 4am.
... all I can say is some chicks tried to steal our fruit tray... but I shut that down.
I should get to bed... breakfast at 8am, "bus call" for 9am.
... I also said no to McDonald's on the way back to the hotel... forgot to mention but we had our full rider today... we had tons of food in our dressing room... it was a pretty awesome day...
- Mike :-)
P.S. I'll proof read this again in the morning... soooo tired.
P.P.S. I found my keys when I got back to the hotel. I clipped them onto a different part of my chain... Matt handed them back to me this morning when I was ripping apart my luggage so I thought I put them on the table... couldn't find them when I got back then noticed them near my laminate... so stupid... this is why I have grey hairs!
P.P.P.S Shout out to the drunk guy who waved off security, telling them he's ok... when 3 minute later he was barfing his face off in the stands. You sir, were not ok.
Mike Langford - Official Blog
Being on both sides of the glass, I get the chance to wear many hats in the music industry. This is a place to share my thoughts, views, predictions, rants, stories and news!